they hope they may presume that, from communications which they believe your Lordship to have already received from the Company, your Lordship is acquainted with that undertaking and those principles, and favourably disposed towards them.
The purpose of the present letter is to solicit assistance from your Lordship, in the way in which your Lordship alone can render it, towards the more speedy attainment of their object, in the acquisition of a definite amount of land in New Zealand, which they may be able to offer to intending purchasers in this country. The Association have felt that it is impossible for them to anticipate much active concurrence on the part of the public until they are enabled to announce that they are in possession, under a valid title, of a sufficient and well defined amount of land which they can offer for sale. Such land must be obtained from the New Zealand Company as trustee for the Crown for the disposal of land in New Zealand. And this Association have thought that the readiest and most effectual plan for their purpose would be to send out a properly qualified person as Agent, with full powers to accept from the Governor of New Zealand, representing the Crown, a grant of a specified amount of land on behalf of the New Zealand Company, to be disposed of by them for the objects of the Association.
The consent of the Company to this arrangement has been obtained, and the Association will be enabled to send out Captain Thomas as their Agent, with the power aforesaid, by the next ship sailing for New Zealand.
The Association venture now to request of your Lordship that you will address to the Governor of New Zealand such a communication as may facilitate the accomplishment of the object for which Captain Thomas is despatched.
The Association, as at present advised, are inclined to consider that the Wairarapa Plains offer the best site for their projected Settlement, and one which they hope there is a fair prospect of their being able to secure. They believe that at and in the immediate neighbourhood of the Wairarapa Plains an extent of land not less than one million of acres may be available, which is the extent which they have had in view, and which they have held out to the public as that which they wished to obtain for the Settlement.
In the event of Captain Thomas not being able, on his arrival in the Colony, to obtain for them this particular site, discretionary powers will be allowed to him to secure what may appear to him, upon the whole, the most desirable land of an equal amount, from the remainder of the unappropriated land of the Crown in New Zealand.
The earnest request of the Association to your Lordship is, that you would be pleased to instruct Sir George Grey, should there be no objection to such a course, in the first instance, if possible, to acquire from the Natives, with the least possible delay, for the Agent of the New Zealand Company, and for the purposes of the Association, about a million of acres at or near the Wairarapa Plains, should the Agent decide in favour of that locality, on as favourable terms as may reasonably be obtained; or, failing this, a similar amount in any other part of the unappropriated lands in the Colony which the Agent may fix upon. The Association trust also that your Lordship will instruct Sir George Grey to afford to their Agent, during the period which he must employ in the surveys and other preparatory arrangements for the reception of Colonists, every assistance in his power.
I am, &c. Lyttelton.
The Right Hon. Earl Grey, &c. &c.
Downing-street, 18th May, 1848.
My Lord,—In answering your Lordship's letter of May the 10th, respecting the intended proceedings of the Association for the Establishment of the 'Canterbury Settlement' in New Zealand, permit me to express the satisfaction with which I have heard of the formation of a project, apparently calculated to promote in so beneficial a manner the colonization of that country, and the great interest which I feel in its success.